Links a lot

Cleaning out over a weeks worth of links and emails:

  • The Hardball Times gives us a taste of some of the batted balls data available in this years annual. The Tigers defense were 42 runs better than league average on ground balls.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka will provide coniserable drama this year as he comes over to the States. He’s got a pretty good track record and he’s young. I just don’t see the Tigers finding value in coughing up $30 million for the right to talk to him. But if you want to keep track of the saga, Knuckle Curve provides some good sources of information
  • Kenny Rogers and Pudge Rodriguez were very deserving gold glove winners. But the Tigers probably should have had more.
  • I find it amusing when people talk about what the Tigers need to do to get over the hump next year. they got to the World Series and played poorly. It wasn’t because of the team construction that they failed in the World Series, it was that they were outplayed. Plus there’s that whole got to the World Series, I think that is the hump. But even with that preamble, I agree with Rob Neyer that the Tigers need to get better.

    The problem, if you’re Dombrowski, is that nobody was terrible this season. That was essentially the secret of the Tigers’ success. But just because nobody’s terrible doesn’t mean nobody’s replaceable.

    (thanks to Joey C for the tip)

  • There are a couple new Tiger bloggers on the block. The New Corner will look at the Tigers farm system and prospects. There is also Motor City Kitties. Check em out.

Tigers Minor League Wrap – September 1st

Toledo 2, Columbus 2 (11 inn, in progress)
Ryan Raburn went 2 for 6. Chris Shelton had 2 walks and 2 K’s. Cory Hamman started and allowed 1 run on 4 hits, 5 walks, and 5 K’s over 5 innings.

Erie 10, Akron 4
Brent Clevlen had 4 hits, including a homer. Danilo Sanchez had 2 homers. Kody Kirkland tripled and walked. Mike Nanninni, who is from Detroit, pitched 3 1/3 innings of relief and only allowed 1 baserunner while fanning 5.

Lakeland – PPD

West Michigan 1, Dayton 0 (14 innings)
Three and a half hours of baseball, and only 1 run to show for it. Josh Kauten was one of 5 pitchers who combined on the 14 inning shutout. Cameron Maybin had a rough night as the DH with 4 K’s. Justin Justice tripled and scored the winning run.

Aberdeen 10, Oneonta 8
Scott Sizemore was 2 for 5 with a walk and a stolen base. Ryan Strieby went 1 for 2 with 3 walks. Tom Thronton allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk over 5 innings. Casey Fien, who had allowed 8 runs, 6 earned all season (40 innings) coming into tonight was hammered. He allowed 7 runs, 5 earned, in just 2 innings.

Tigers Minor League Wrap – August 31st

Toledo – PPD

Erie 4, Trenton 3
Kody Kirkland homered and doubled. Brent Clevlen was 1 for 4. Lance Davis allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, over 4 1/3 innings.

Lakeland 7, Tampa 3 (10 innings)
Jeff Frazier was 2 for 4 with a homer. Jim Essian was 3 for 5 with a homer. Jeff Larish had 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Kevin Ardoin allowed 2 runs over 5 innings on 10 hits.

West Michigan 4, Lansing 3
Cameron Maybin (who hit a grand slam last night) was 1 for 4 with a walk and a caught stealing. Burke Badenhop allowed 2 runs over 5 innings on 6 hits, no walks, and 5 K’s.

Aberdeen 2, Oneonta 1 (10 innings)
Ryan Strieby supplied the lone offense with a home run. Christian Martinez allowed 4 hits in 6 scoreless innings. Jonah Nickerson added 3 no hit innings.

Tigers Minor League Wrap – August 26th

Louisville 13, Toledo 2
Chad Durbin started and allowed 3 runs over 6 innings. Bobby Seay, Steve Green and Lance Davis allowed 10 runs in 3 innings of relief. Chris Shelton had the night off.

Binghamton 7, Erie 4
Kody Kirkland hit his 21st homer and made his 22nd error. Jon Connolly allowed 7 runs, 6 earned in 4 1/3 innings.

Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 0
Jeff Larish doubled and Brent Dlugach singled for the entirety of the L Tigs offense. Eleazar Aponte allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 K’s. Andrew Miller pitched 2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit and fanning 3.

West Michigan 3, Fort Wayne 0
Cameron Maybin hit his 8th homer. Burke Badenhop allowed only 5 base runners and none came around to sore. Anthony Claggett who has assumed the closers role pitched a scoreless 9th.

Lowell 3, Oneonta 1
Deik Scram had 3 hits and Scott Sizmore was 1 for 3 with a walk. Tom Thonrton allowed 3 runs in 3 2/3 innings. Casey Fien pitched 3 scoreless innings in relief. Randor Bierd pitched one inning striking out the side.

Book Review: Little League, Big Dreams

With the Tigers actually playing meaningful games, it has kept me from tuning into the Little League World Series as much as I have in past seasons. The LLWS is currently taking place and is set to wrap up this weekend. When I do tune in though, I’m viewing the event in a different light since reading Little League Big Dreams by Charles Euchner.
Continue reading Book Review: Little League, Big Dreams

Comments on Comments

I’ve never had a comment policy here. It was never that much of an issue. Early on there weren’t that many comments, but the community has grown as the site (and probably more importantly the team) has grown in popularity. In fact I attribute the site’s 150% growth in visits over the last month more to everybody elses contributions to the site than my own.

However, the last couple days have turned contentious. It was sparked by a rough weekend in Chicago, but has continued since Sunday and I feel I need to address what’s going on.

First, I’m all for debate and disagreement. It is part of what makes sports fun is having barroom discussions. I don’t want to discourage this in anyway. Agree, disagree, I don’t care. However, please have these debates in a civilized manner.

I also would love to see the number of commentors increase. Some of you have been here for years, others joined up earlier this year, and more are contributing all the time (let’s hear it for the Asian contingent!). New voices have been welcomed in all along. I also don’t want to have an environment where 1. People aren’t allowed to comment by me or 2. People feel they can’t post without being attacked. Both ways discourage debate. I want new people to feel welcome and I don’t want old timers to be discouraged.

I’ve seen several comments and emails over the last few days lamenting the direction the comments section have taken and frankly that saddens me. I don’t want this to just be another xxx or see the site turning into xxx. At the same time I have no interest in being a moderator so I’m going to keep the rules simple.

First, no swearing. I’m not a prude and I swear with regularity. I just don’t do it on this site. I’ve managed to secure a couple interviews in the last year, and I’d like to think the decorum of the site contributed to that.

Second, no name calling or snarky references to other commentors.

Beyond that this is up to you guys. As always, I’m welcome to feed back either in the comments, or if you prefer the contact form is always available.

Thanks for entertaining me in a deviation from baseball talk.

Game 112: Twins at Tigers

PREGAME: It’s a rematch of the awesome Zach Miner-Francisco Liriano match-up at the Metrodome. Liriano missed his last start with some pain in his forearm. It will be interesting to see how he starts off, whether he will be rusty, in pain, or fresh and jacked up.

In Miner’s last start he went 5 2/3 innings and allowed only 4 hits, but it took him 106 pitches to get that far.

The Tigers have beat the Twins in all 6 Comerica Park meetings this year. But that was a different Twins team. I’d have to say that another Tiger sweep would be pretty unlikely.

Game Time 7:05pm

POSTGAME: My son and I went to the game, along with almost 35,000 other souls (although it seemed fuller than that). The Tigers continued their home field dominance of the Twins moving their record to 7-0 on the season.

While I was happy to see the Tigers beat up on Liriano, the news that his arm is a mess is discouraging. Liriano’s having a special season, and is a special talent. Friend or foe, I hope to see him pitching for a number of years.

Zach Miner seemed to be particularly efficient in not allowing any walks and getting through 6 1/3 innings on 81 pitches.

As for our time down at Comerica, 2 things jumped out at me. First, that big whale mural has been covered up with advertising. I don’t remember what the ad was for (it must have made a real impression on me).

Second, Tiger ushers have become very aggressive in not allowing autograph seeking fans in the first row along the 3rd base line. My son has had great success in the past grabbing a couple auto’s as the players finish up their stretching right before the game or as the relief pitchers head to the bullpen. Tiger players have been very generous with their time and for the most part sign right up until they have to return to the dugout. Last night it seemed that the ushers wouldn’t even give the players the opportunity to come over and sign as they broke up a crowd that Jamie Walker was signing for. I understand wanting to make sure seats are open for actual ticketholders, but it seemed overly aggressive last night.

With the Tigers completing batting practice prior to the gates opening, that is the fans only chance for autographs. In the past the Tiger players have been more than willing to sign. I hope that the organization finds a way to allow an important part of the fan experience to continue.

Tigers Minor League Wrap – August 5th

Toledo Louisville (12th inning in progress)

New Hampshire 6, Erie 4
Nate Bumstead pitched 7 innings and allowed 5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits, 4 walks, and 6 K’s. Don Kelly had 3 hits and Crhis Maples added 2.

Daytona 11, Lakeland 2
Kyle Sleeth made the start and had problems. He walked 6 in 2 2/3 innings and with 2 hits 6 runs were scored. Garth McKinney homered for the L-Tigers

Fort Wayne 11, West Michigan 2
Lucas French was rocked for 10 hits and 7 runs in 4 innings. Cameron Maybin, Michael Hollimon and Mike Hernandez comigned for a rare 1 for 12. Justin Justice picked up 2 hits.

Aberdeen 9, Oneonta 3
Scott Sizemore had yet another 2 hit game, and Brennan Boesch and Ronnie Bourquin followed suit. Chris Cody allowed 8 runs, but only one was earned, in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up 6 hits, 1 walk, and fanned 5.

GCL Tigers 4, GCL Braves 1
Audy Ciriaco was 3 for 4 while Chris Carlson and Michael Bertram had multi hit games.

Tigers Minor League Wrap – August 4th

Toledo 4, Louisville 3 (11 innings)
Chris Shelton had 3 strikeouts, but also had 2 walks. Ryan Ludwick hit his 20th homer and Ryan Raburn added 2 hits. Chad Durbin lasted 7 2/3 innings only allowing 4 hits and 1 walk against 9 K’s.

New Hampshire 9, Erie 1
Jon Connolly hasn’t had a good transition to AA. He allowed 12 hits and 7 runs in 5 1/3 innings and his ERA now stands at 7.39.

Daytona 7, Lakeland 3
Dallas Trahern gave up 4 runs in 3 1/3 innings. Jeff Larish was 2 for 3 and Brent Dlugach had 2 hits including a homer.

West Michigan 2, South Bend 2 (in progress 13 innings)
Cameron Maybin is 2 for 5 with a walk and only his 3rd caught stealing. Justin Justice added 3 hits. Burke Badenhop pitched the first 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits with a walk and 5 K’s. Ricky Steik pitched 3 scoreless innings.

Oneonta 3, Aberdeen 1
Scott Sizemore had 2 doubles and Brennan Boesch added 2 hits. Matt O’Brien allowed 1 run in 7 innings. Casey Fien and Brett Jensen each added scoreless innings.

GCL Tigers – Rain

Verlander to miss start

Danny Knobler reports that Justin Verlander’s Sunday start will be skipped. Most importantly he indicates that he is fine, and it is just part of Leyland’s plan to limit his workload. Wil Ledezma will get the start.

Tigers Minor League Wrap – August 3rd

Toledo 5, Louisville 4
Chris Shelton went 2 for 4 with a triple. Ryan Raburn doubled and hit his 19th homer. Humberto Sanchez started but only lasted 4 innings. He gave up 5 hits and 3 runs.

Erie , Portland
Jair Jurrgens pitched 7 innings and allowed 4 hits and 2 runs while walking 2 and fanning 5. PJ Finigan had 2 scoreless innings of relief. Chris Maples, Kelly Hunt, and Danilo Sanchez homered.

Lakeland 6, Daytona 5
Chris Robinson picked up 2 doubles and Clete Thomas added 2 hits. Andrew Kown gave up 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 1/3 innings.

West Michigan 9, South Bend 3
Mike Hernandez homered and added 2 singles. Mike Hollimon and Matt Joyce both tripled in multi-hit games. Erik Averill allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings.

Brooklyn 8, Oneonta 2
Brennan Boesch and Deik Scram each had 2 hits. Randor Bierd continues to struggle as he allowed 4 runs on 4 htis and 3 walks in 3 innings.

GCL Tigers – DNP

Cinco de Blog

I didn’t notice it until today, but The Detroit Tigers Weblog turned 5 years old on Monday. Thanks to all of you who make this a part of your daily internet routine.